Jonathon Ambarian

WHITEFISH (KPAX) — Just over 24 hours after the close of polls on Election Night, the campaign for Republican candidate Ryan Zinke declared victory in the race for Montana’s western congressional district. Zinke is running against Democrat Monica Tranel.

The campaign released a statement Wednesday evening just after 9:00 p.m. after Decision Desk HQ, a national election forecaster, projected Zinke would defeat Tranel. The Associated Press also called the race in favor of Zinke at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday.

From the time polls closed on Tuesday evening results were coming in slowly from many of the large counties in the western district. By Wednesday morning, Zinke had a lead over Tranel.

Large updates from Flathead, Missoula and Gallatin counties began to come in around 5 p.m. and Zinke maintained his advantage.

Tranel’s campaign said she would make a statement on the election results at a news conference in Missoula Thursday morning.

During the campaign, Zinke focused on setting himself up as a check on the Biden administration's agenda. He called for dialing back federal spending, expanding energy production and tightening border security.